Regional Working Group on Environment

The Regional Working Group on Environment (RWGE) was established by the Barents Regional Council in 1993. After a reconstruction of the working groups under the Regional Council, the RWGE was re-established during the spring of 2001 as one of five regional working groups. The 13 member regions in the Barents Region have representatives in the RWGE. The chairmanship from region to region is changing once in two years. For the period 2012-2014 the chairmanship was carried out by Lapland (Finland) and from 2015 onwards by the Department of Rozprirodnadzor (Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources) for North-Western Russia.

The mandate of the RWGE is to work as a consultative body on environmental issues to the Working Group of Environment (WGE). There is close co-operation between the RWGE and the WGE. The WGE may also submit suggestions and give mandates to the RWGE on implementation of special projects. The RWGE and WGE may initiate environmental projects within the Barents Region. Once in two years the Chair of the RWGE is reporting to the Ministers of the Environment of Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland on the Ministerial Conference about the results of the RWGE’s activity during last two years. 

The RWGE from time to time updates the Action Program and identifies a few project ideas that will be given priority in the work of the RWGE. Water quality and biodiversity in the Barents Region have been the highlighted areas of action. The overall goal is to strengthen and coordinate multilateral co-operation in the Barents region. This will be done by project implementation and information change on several environment related topics. There are several environmental projects carried out by the organisations, which are taking part in the Barents environment co-operation. Projects on forestry impacts on surface waters, Atlantic salmon resources and climate change can be mentioned.

Efforts to improve the environmental situation in the area around the Pechenganikel industrial complex are also addressed in the framework of the RWGE. The Pechenganikel industrial complex is a main threat to aquatic and terrestrial environments in the Finnish, Norwegian, and Russian border area. Regional authorities in the counties of Finnmark, Lapland, and Murmansk have in collaboration with research institutes in the Barents Region completed a «Pasvik program». The objective of the «Pasvik program» was to develop and implement an environmental monitoring and assessment program in the border areas. Nineteen institutions in the Barents Region have participated in the program. The long term objective of the project is to ensure that the monitoring data covering the state of the environment are reliable, comparable, and available to authorities, environmental experts and local people in the border areas. 




Russian Federation

Vasily Fedorov (Chair)
Deputy Director, Department of Rosprirodnadzor of North-West Russia
Liteyny pr. 39, 191014 St. Petersburg, Russia
Phone : +7 812 579 84 93

Tatiana Tyupenko 
Expert, Syktyvkar State University
Mobile: +8 9128697497


Jari Pasanen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Lapland
Tel: +358 405187484

Jonas Liimatta
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia
: +358 50 396 7494

Tatu Turunen
Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Kainuu 
Tel: +358 29 502 3500

Jouni Ponnikas 
Regional Council of Kainuu 
Tel: +358 0 861 5541


Rolf Magnus Johansson 
County Administration of Norrbotten
Tel.: +46 10 225 5321

Mats-Rune Bergström
County Administration of Västerbotten
Tel: + 46 90 107352, +46 70 621 7352


Bente Christiansen
County Administration of Finnmark
Tel: +47 78 950 373

Asbjørg Fyhn
County Administration of Troms
Phone: +47 77 788 165

Roar Høgsæt
County Administration of Nordland
Phone: +47 75 53 15 62

Project funding in Barents

How to make your Barents project dreams come true? We have gathered information for all Barents relevant funding sources in our new portal.

Read more


During two missions, in 2007 and 2012, Swedish journalist Tom Juslin traveled through the Nordic countries to find out how climate change affects people, animals and nature - "Climate Journey" opens the planned series of exhibitions in in Kirkenes

Read more